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Flashcards in Stress - Individual Differences Deck (22):

What are Individual Differences Explanation for Stress?

1. Hardiness
2. Type A + B Personality


What are the 3 Cs of Hardiness?

1. Control
- Individual sees themselves as being in control of their their life rather then being controlled by external factors + feel a sense of personal power
- Believe they can take actions that will directly influence their life
2. Commitment
- Hardy people have a sense of purpose + meaning of life
- They are curious about other people + the world around them
- Believe no mater how bad things get you should stay involved rather than alienating yourself
3. Challenge
- Person sees stressful situation as opportunity for growth + development
- Person accepts that experiencing stress + challenge is a part of life
- Person doesn't accept life to be easy + learn from families as well as successes


How do the 3 Cs Buffer Against Stress?

- Hardy personality seen as a pathway to resilience against stress
- Hardy individuals have better coping strategies/self care/social support when faced with stressors
- Hardy individuals experience less physiological responses to stress
- Less likely to experience stress-related illness


What are the Differences Between Hardy + Non-Hardy Individual (Hardy Coping)?

- identify stressful circumstance + analysis what can be done to resolve them
- Avoid stress by engaging in distractions. Activities such as gambling + over-spending are often used


What are the Differences Between Hardy + Non-Hardy Individual (Hardy Social Interactions)?

- Get social support from others around them
- Able to give support back
- Feel victimised by others around them


What are the Differences Between Hardy + Non-Hardy Individual (Hardy Self Care)?

- Have healthy diet + lifestyle as well as engaging in relaxation
- Have a poor diet + low levels of exercise


Describe Koasa's 1979 Research.

- early research - demonstrated hardy personalities cope better with stressors
- Used SRRS + illness survey to compare business executives
- 1 group = high stress in previous 3 years without falling ill + other group experienced some levels of stress without falling ill
- Personality tests showed those who didn't fall ill had a more hardy personality


Describe Maddi's 2007 Research.

- Research on employees at Bell Telephone Company who were experiencing a stressful period of redundancies
- 1/3 individuals demonstrate hardy personality + suffered from fewer stress-related health + mental health issues
- Further research found that other factors (e.g. exercise + social support) helped buffer effects of stress
- Hardiness was most beneficial


Describe Bactone's 1999 Research on Pygmy Goats

- Found that soldiers with higher hardiness levels were more able to cope with stress as a result of life events + things that happened in combat
- Hardy soldiers were less likely to experience long term negative health consequences from these events


Hardiness Evaluation
Gender+Age Difference

- Original research into hardiness was carried out on a sample of males - it is possible that the results might be different for females
- Sheppered (1991) = highlighting inconsistent findings when considering gender+hardiness - research found that control + commitment elements of a hardy personality predicted health outcomes for males but not females
- Sheppered suggest differences in effects hardiness has in different age groups - relationship between hardiness+stress outcomes is only evident in older women


Hardiness Evaluation
Importance of All 3 Elements

- Maddi (2013) = All 3 parts of a hardy personality are required to have a buffering effect against stress
- Sandwirk (2013) = studied 21 navy cadets during field exercise, obtaining hardiness scores before/during/after exercise - all scored high in hardiness however some were high in control but not in challenge - classed as unbalanced + were compared to balanced group - being low in challenge may make the cadets more vulnerable to stress in ambiguous situations


Who Discovered Type A/B Personality?

- Friedman + Rosenman developed this theroy in the 1950s
- Based on observation of people's behaviour - some individuals seemed tenser + exhibited certain behaviors (e.g. not being able to sit still)


What are Some Traits of Type A Personality

- Competitive
- Impulsive
- Hostile
- Workaholic
- Always in a hurry
- Unrealistic sense of urgency
- Rapid speech
- Rapid movement


What are Some Traits of Type B Personality?

- Relaxed
- Able to express feelings
- Calm
- Flexible
- Slower speech
- Slower movement


Describe the Procedure of the Western Collaborative Group Study

- Prospective longitudinal study of 3154 men aged between 39 + 59
- Men categorised into Type A/B personality using an interview task
- Interview consisted of 25 questions about how they would respond to everyday pressures
- Interview conducted in a provocative manner (slow/hesitant speech) so that the Type As would interrupt


Describe the Findings of the Western Collaborative Group Study

- 8 1/2 years later...
- 257 developed heart disease - 70% = Type A
- 12.8% Type As experienced heart attack compared with 6.0% Type B
- Type As had higher blood pressure + higher cholesterol


Describe the Other Research Relating to the Western Collaborative Group Study

- Framingham Heart Study - gathered data about risj factor for coronary heart disorder since 1948
- Haynes (1982) = Type A behavior associated with 2 fold increase in risk of coronary heart disorder over subsequent 10 years


Type A/B Personality Evaluation
Supporting Evidence

- Friedman (1975) = participants to complete an unsolvable puzzle in a noisy environment - Type As appeared outwardly more stressed + annoyed by the task compared with Type Bs - Type As showed a higher level of adrenaline during competition despite showing no difference when resting - provides support for the physiological response to Type As + make them more prone to long term problems


Type A/B Personality Evaluation
Conflicting Evidence

- Ragland + Brand (1988) = followed 257 of original WCGS after 22 years to look at longer term effects - found although some behaviors (e.g. smoking/cholesterol level) import predictors of CHD mortality, Type A behaviour did not show significant correlation
- Although Type As more likely to suffer from heart attack, they are more likely to survive coronary events
- Possible that confounding variable introduced by publication of initial results which led Type As to adjust their behavior + lifestyle


Type A/B Personality Evaluation
Gender + Cultural Bias

- Original study only carried out on men
- Type A traits (e.g. competitiveness) considered to be male-centered
- Review by Baker (1984) found that women showed similar similar levels of type A personality traits + shower greater automatic arousal to stressor
- Helman (1987) = concept of type A personality is culturally biased - developed from USA - values of being a workaholic +competitive would not be found in non-western cultures


Type A/B Personality Evaluation
The Role of Hostility

- Certain type As traits maybe more important than others in making an individual more prone to stress related illness
- Hecker (1988) = WCGS reexamined assessing the relative influence of different components of a type A personality - hostility had most significant relationship with subsequent CHD - suggest that number type A personalities develop a more constructive response to stress as they focus on why particular element of their personality


Type A/B Personality Evaluation
Type C Persoanlity

- A point that needs to be taken into consideration
- Type C personality is linked to stress - suppress negative emotions/rarely get into arguments/helpful to others
- Temoshok (1987) = failing to express anger/other emotions may damage immune system + make individuals more prone to cancer
- Morris (1981) = found that women in a cancer clinic who expressed less anger were more likely to have cancerous lumps- supports idea of link between cancer + suppression of anger
- Giraldi (1997) = 6 year follow up found no association variables + cancer progression